Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks have a shot to severely dampen the playoff hopes of a particular divisional rival. In an afternoon matchup, Seattle takes on the 8-4 San Francisco 49ers who have won 7-of-9 after starting 0-2. The Seahawks come into their divisional clash 11-1 after thrashing the New Orleans Saints a week ago.
What the Seahawks have been able to do on defense this season is nothing short of spectacular, especially not having two of their top defensive backs as of late. Against the 49ers, they take their 1st-ranked pass defense up against a 31st-ranked passing offense led by Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers are, however, averaging over 130 yards per game on the ground and currently rank 7th in the league in that category. Seattle on the other hand, have done much better against the run on the second have of the season and come in boasting the league’s 13th-ranked rush defense.
With these numbers in mind, Seattle’s best case scenario on Sunday will be to make Kaepernick beat them through the air by shutting down the run. Their front seven will be key in stopping Frank Gore, first and foremost, but also guarding against the read-option type situations with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has strung together two very good games with ratings over 110 in each of them; also not having thrown an interception in either contest. Still, though, the 49ers haven’t gotten enough out of him all year long. 2012 is long gone now as Kaepernick has seemingly taken a step back overall this year with a middle-of-the-road rating of 88.9 on the season.
Seattle will have no problem putting up points, just as they did against the Saints’ stout defense a week ago. The one thing they must keep in mind is to hold the 49ers under 100 yards rushing and the Seahawks have more than a great shot to hand their rivals a crushing loss.